The genus Pygoscelis ("rump-legged") contains three living species of penguins collectively known as "brush-tailed penguins".[2]

Brush-tailed penguins
Temporal range: Eocene to present
Pygoscelis antarctica
Scientific classification Edit this classification
Domain: Eukaryota
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Aves
Order: Sphenisciformes
Family: Spheniscidae
Genus: Pygoscelis
Wagler, 1832
Type species
Aptenodytes antarctica[1]

Pygoscelis adeliae
Pygoscelis antarctica
Pygoscelis papua
Pygoscelis tyreei (fossil)
Pygoscelis calderensis (fossil)
Pygoscelis grandis (fossil)

Taxonomy edit

Mitochondrial and nuclear DNA evidence suggests the genus split from other penguins around 38 million years ago, about 2 million years after the ancestors of the genus Aptenodytes. In turn, the Adelie penguins split off from the other members of the genus around 19 million years ago.[3]

Extant species
Image Scientific name Common Name Distribution
  Pygoscelis adeliae Adélie penguin Antarctica, Bouvet Island
  Pygoscelis antarcticus Chinstrap penguin Antarctica, Argentina, Bouvet Island, Chile, the Falkland Islands, the French Southern Territories, and South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands
  Pygoscelis papua Gentoo penguin Falkland Islands, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands, and Kerguelen Islands

A 2020 study found that the gentoo penguin may actually comprise a species complex of 4 similar but genetically distinct species: the northern gentoo penguin (P. papua), the southern gentoo penguin (P. ellsworthi), the eastern gentoo penguin (P. taeniata), and the newly-described South Georgia gentoo penguin (P. poncetii).[4][5] However, in 2021 the International Ornithological Congress recognized these as being subspecies of P. papua.[6]

A study has estimated that there are about 3.79 million pairs of Adélie, 387,000 pairs of gentoo, and 8 million pairs of chinstrap penguins in their particular areas,[7] making up 90% of Antarctic avian biomass.[8]

Fossil species

The latter two are tentatively assigned to this genus.

References edit

  1. ^ Commentationes Societatis Regiae Scientiarum Gottingensis 3 (1780): 134, 141, pl.4.
  2. ^ "Pygoscelis". 2000. Archived from the original on 2010-05-01. Retrieved 2016-10-02.
  3. ^ Baker AJ, Pereira SL, Haddrath OP, Edge KA (2006). "Multiple gene evidence for expansion of extant penguins out of Antarctica due to global cooling". Proc Biol Sci. 273 (1582): 11–17. doi:10.1098/rspb.2005.3260. PMC 1560011. PMID 16519228.
  4. ^ Tyler, Joshua; Bonfitto, Matthew T.; Clucas, Gemma V.; Reddy, Sushma; Younger, Jane L. (2020). "Morphometric and genetic evidence for four species of gentoo penguin". Ecology and Evolution. 10 (24): 13836–13846. doi:10.1002/ece3.6973. ISSN 2045-7758. PMC 7771148. PMID 33391684.
  5. ^ Pertierra, Luis R.; Segovia, Nicolás I.; Noll, Daly; Martinez, Pablo A.; Pliscoff, Patricio; Barbosa, Andrés; Aragón, Pedro; Rey, Andrea Raya; Pistorius, Pierre; Trathan, Phil; Polanowski, Andrea (2020). "Cryptic speciation in gentoo penguins is driven by geographic isolation and regional marine conditions: Unforeseen vulnerabilities to global change". Diversity and Distributions. 26 (8): 958–975. doi:10.1111/ddi.13072. hdl:11336/141106. ISSN 1472-4642.
  6. ^ "Kagu, Sunbittern, tropicbirds, loons, penguins – IOC World Bird List". Retrieved 2022-06-11.
  7. ^ Black, Caitlin E. (2016-03-01). "A comprehensive review of the phenology of Pygoscelis penguins". Polar Biology. 39 (3): 405–432. doi:10.1007/s00300-015-1807-8. ISSN 1432-2056. S2CID 253810985.
  8. ^ Williams, Tony D. (1995). The penguins: Spheniscidae. Bird families of the world. Oxford: Oxford Univ. Press. p. 137. ISBN 978-0-19-854667-2.